Methuen woman, 20, to face charges in death of friend killed in Haverhill highway crash

TIM JEAN/Staff file photoState police and Haverhill firefighters on the scene of the rollover crash on Interstate 495 north just before exit 51 on March 31, 2018.

HAVERHILL — A 20-year-old Methuen woman is facing charges more than a year after the car she was driving rolled over on Interstate 495, killing a close friend who was her passenger.

Emily McGovern is scheduled to be charged June 21 with manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide OUI and negligence causing death, marked lanes violation and speeding, according to a victim witness advocate who has been in touch with the crash victim's family.

The charges against McGovern were issued May 14, ahead of the arraignment later this month in Haverhill District Court, the victim witness advocate said. 

McGovern's case will eventually be heard in Salem Superior Court.

Investigators said McGovern was driving a 2004 Lincoln LS Sedan on the afternoon of March 31, 2018, when the car flipped onto its hood on the shoulder of Interstate 495 north.

Alexis Spartz,18, of Methuen was killed.

The crash scene was chaotic, state police said, causing confusion about who was driving the car.

Initial reports said that Spartz was behind the wheel, but within a couple days, state police issued a retraction that said another teen was driving. They did not name McGovern.

Spartz's family has spent the last year mourning the loss of their daughter, a 2017 Methuen High graduate, and anticipating charges against the driver, they told The Eagle-Tribune just before the anniversary.

At that time, Alexis' father, Jim Spartz, described the year as "extremely frustrating" and said, "We've got no information about what transpired: if they're filing charges, what they would be, what caused the crash."

At one point, he called state police weekly for any updates, he said.

Essex District Attorney Spokesperson Carrie Kimball told The Eagle-Tribune in March that "these motor vehicle investigations, involving a fatality, are lengthy."